Today we will be sharing one of the multiple case studies that we have conducted over a period of time. Case studies are an incredibly effective source of understanding of how to market to help promote your business. By taking existing customers and exploring how they use your service/product to reach their business goals. By using this method we have researched multiple different types of professional areas that we are going to share with you weekly.
Nowadays, your expertise can only take you so far, when potential clients look for professional recommendations they are surely going to use google to look for recommendations. If you are not pro-active about attracting new visitors online and marketing your business, your company will always face challenges.
Don’t panic! You have come to the right place! Lucky for you, you can apply these marketing tools to any type of business. Professionals from different backgrounds can use theses marketing tools as long follow the steps correctly. This article will provide you with some helpful insights on how to promote your SMB online!
11 Effective Ways to Market Your Small Business Online
As an SMB owner, it doesn’t matter how good your reputation is, if you are not pro-active about attracting new visitors online and marketing your business you will always face challenges.
When someone is looking for a product or service these days, they are most likely to search online than to open a phone book (do those even exist anymore?) That’s why it’s important for you to make it as easy as possible for potential clients to find you. In order to make that happen, you need to actively promote your SMB online.
1. Develop your personal brand
According to a study by LexisNexis and Martindale-Hubbell, 85% of law firms find that the majority of traffic to their website is directed at their lawyers’ bio pages. That’s because your potential clients are looking to hire a lawyer, not a firm. They want to see who the individual people are that make up your firm before they actually pick up the phone to give you a call.
This means that each lawyer or attorney at your firm should take steps to actively promote their personal brand online so that they come across as more than just a generic picture on a company website.
Improved bio’s: Since the bio pages are generally where visitors to your website head to first, you want to make sure that they are as informative and engaging as possible. Have each employee fill out their own bio’s that include all of the following information:
- past work experience, licenses, and other credentials.
- relevant keywords, for SEO rankings.
- a professional photo.
- links to publications and social channels.
- a clear call to action that lets visitors know what you want them to do.
Linkedin profiles: Linkedin is a business-oriented social platform for networking with other industry professionals and each employee at your company should have an account here.
To ensure that your employees get the full benefit from their Linkedin accounts, they should do the following:
- Complete all details of their Linkedin Profile, including work history.
- Write an engaging description of themselves and the services they provide.
- Upload a professional profile picture.
- Join groups related to the industry and participate in discussions with other group members.
2. Generate Content
One way to get prospective clients to visit your website is by offering them interesting and informative content that they will find valuable. This will not only help draw people to your website and keep them engaged but it will also establish your business as experts that will increase brand awareness.
You can use a tool like BuzzSumo to find out what topics are currently popular online and write an article related to legal aspects of the subject.
Creating a publishing schedule is also a good idea since this will help you plan articles in advance and select topics to write about that are relevant for particular times of the year.
3. Get Social:
In addition to encouraging your workers to become active on social media, it’s a good idea for the company as a whole to have accounts on the most popular social media platforms: Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
Social media is a great way to connect online with potential clients and other industry professionals. It’s also a very effective way of sharing the articles on your website.
Linkedin: Create a company page, fill out the profile and add an attractive banner and logo. Encourage all of your emplooyees to follow the page. Make sure to update your page regularly with articles from your website, make sure it’s interesting news and realize current updates from your company.
Twitter: Create an account and begin following clients, other alliances and professional influencers. Twitter is a great place for networking in real-time and for learning about your competitors.
Facebook: Create a business page for your company, send a one-time email to your business contacts and friends inviting them to like it. Here you can share links to articles on your website and introduce topics for discussion to engage visitors to your page.
Google +: One of the great advantages of Google + is that being Google services, the content posted here is indexed by Google and prominently featured in search results. You can also promote yourself locally by creating for your company page in Google place, which will be found on Google’s local search. To get started you need to set up a Google+ profile, write a description and start connection clients, professionals, and prospects in your area. There are also several active Google (communities for SMB owners that you may want to join).
4. Email marketing:
Newsletters: Don’t let your contacts forget about you! Keep sending them regular newsletters with valuable information. You can also include links to articles on your blog to drive them to your website.
MadMimi is a great service to use for sending out your newsletter since it will also allow you to track the emails and see how many of your recipients actually opened them up or clicked on the links.
Emails: Every email that you send is an opportunity to market your services, which is why it’s crucial to optimize all aspects of your email. One way of doing this is by including a signature that has your contact information and links to your social accounts, as well as any other details that you think would be helpful.
Use WiseStamp for Business to design a professional and attractive email signature that includes all of the information that you need to promote yourself and your business.
With WiseStamp for business, you also get full control over all of your employees’ email signatures so that you can ensure that they are all in line with your brand, and even update them all at the same time with your newest blog post or promotional material.
5. Advertise online:
- Adword campaigns: Google AdWords are a great way to get your small business prominently listed in Google search results.
- Facebook ads: Since many of your prospects are probably spending some part of their day on Facebook, Facebook ads are a great way to reach them. There are several different types of ads, so take a look at the options and decide which you think would be meet your needs.
6. Create videos
Youtube is the second large search engine and it’s owned by Google, which means videos receive attention from Google searches. That’s why it’s a good idea to invest in creating a few videos that can be posted on your website and shared on Youtube.
Have your content creator create a series of videos addressing different topics within their specialty. Videos can feature your company discussing various situations in which have assisted clients or they may answer some of the commonly asked questions that you receive. These videos will also help potential clients feel more of a connection to your company when they get to see them in action.
7. Optimize your Website for lead conversion
If visitors to your website are coming by to browse and then leaving, you need to make some changes to your site that will convert these visitors to leads.
- Call to Action- Add a clear call to action to each page of your website, all of your ads, articles and marketing material. This lets visitors to your site know exactly what it is that you want them to do, which probably involves clicking a Contact Us button that will open up a form where the visitor can fill in their contact information.
- Live Chat- Many law firms have found that adding a Live Chat feature to their website encouraged visitors to contact the firm with questions, more so than providing an email address or contact form. This is probably because a live chat feels more casual than sending an email or making a phone call and also offers instant gratification.
- Mobile friendly- Make sure that your website can be accessed on all mobile devices since a large number of your visitors will probably be using their phones or tablets to access your site.
8. Get listed in local directories.
Make sure that your SMB is listed in all of the local business and industry directories. It’s important to find the most common directories on the web and list your business.
For example, if you are a law firm, below are some of the most popular industry directories that you should be listed in:
9. Participate in local events.
Getting involved in local events can be a great way to promote yourself both on and offline. If you host a seminar or sponsor the local softball team, there are sure to be participants taking pictures and posting them to Facebook and Instagram. When this happens make sure that your companies page is tagged in the pictures and, you can request from the poster to include a link to your website as well.
10. Monitor your online reputation
Sign up for a service that alerts you whenever your company is mentioned online. You can set up alerts for your company name when your name comes up in an online discussion or in a review, you will be notified. You can then decide if you would like to respond to the comment, such as offering an appreciative “thank you” to a client who’s praising your services, or defend yourself if you come under criticism.
Try Talkwalker, which is a free social media monitoring tool that will let you know when your company name is mentioned online.
11. Track the results of your online marketing activities
Now that you have gone to all of this effort to bring more traffic to your website, it’s time to see if any of your marketing activities have worked.
One of the best ways to do this is by using Google Analytics to track your website’s visitors to see where they are coming from, how they found you and what are they doing on your website. Once you have this information you can see if your online marketing activities are working and which areas might need some tweaking.
Each social network also offers its own set of analytic tools that will allow you to measure the results of your activities on those specific platforms.
By following these 11 guidelines you can stay ahead of your competitors and stay on track. By marketing your company and promoting your small business online you will soon see a definitive rise in your website’s traffic. Stayed tuned for next week’s blog post, we will continue to share our latest updates on how to promote your business in the marketing world.